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Flappers and Philosophers

Narrated by: William Dufris
Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
3 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

First published in 1920, Flappers and Philosophers marked F. Scott Fitzgerald's entry into the realm of the short story, in which he adroitly proved himself "a master of the mechanism of short story technique" ( Boston Transcript). Several of his most beloved tales are represented in this classic collection of eight, including "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" and "Head and Shoulders," with their particularly O. Henry-like twists; the poignant "Benediction" and "The Cut-Glass Bowl"; and "The Offshore Pirate," the octet's opening and "most romantic story" ( The New York Times Books Review). Filtered through Fitzgerald's remarkable intensity of vision and fed by his matchless imagination, these tales shimmer with the exuberance of youth during the Jazz Age. On the heels of his triumphant This Side of Paradise, the novel that transformed a gifted young writer into a literary sensation, this sublime short story collection plumbs the depths of human feeling with a perspicacity that is quintessential Fitzgerald.
(P)1999 by Blackston Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Erynn
  • Erynn
  • 18-09-03

A great collection

This is a really good collection of Fitzgerald shorts. These give you a great snapshot of life in the early 20th century, and how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. A great companion to the Great Gatsby.

The reader tends to get a little melodramatic, but for the most part does an excellent job.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jerry``
  • Jerry``
  • 16-03-04

The Early Stories

While a few of Scott Fitzgerald's early stories are included, his more mature and best short stories were written later. Like his (sometimes) friend, Ernest Hemingway, he was a master at both the long prose form of the novel and also the short story. On the whole many of the stories herein are a bit shallow and similar to the still inexperienced Fitzgerald which wrote This Side of Paradise, not exactly a monument to English literature. I notice another reviewer finds them entertaining. Perhaps when a later collection is one day issued which has the better stories, likely in two parts, the listener will have the opportunity to see Fitzgerald at his best in this genre. For light reading or the curious about the post WWI expatriots (first in American and then on to France) this may be entertaining. I tried listening to them several times and eventually gave it up. Should have known better. I didn't like them in written form and the narrator (not too bad) can breath life into what didn't exist in the first place. Would rate this 2 stars rather than 3 other than the pure entertainment value SOME (not all) may find in getting a (weak) taste of one of the best prose writers in the English language in the 20th century. If you happen to like them come back and give me a thumbs down. If you're not all that impressed, don't blame me. ;) Buy the recording of Gatsby (preferably) or Beautiful and the Damned and you'll get a better taste of what kind of writer Fitzgerald was. Just don't forget to read the books. Decent literature, unlike the 20 best sellers on the NYT list are not something to be experienced merely by listening to them on your iPod.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yul S. Pariah
  • Yul S. Pariah
  • 18-09-08

Phoned in?

These stories do not represent Fitzgerald at his best or most mature, but they are certainly worth reading (hearing) once or twice. The reader deserves a lot of credit for his heroic effort in making these stories come alive. He conjures up a unique voice for each character in a given story, with each voice capturing the personality of that character perfectly. He put some real thought and effort into this, and his virtuosity was a pleasant surprise for me, if a bit over the top at times. I certainly could not say that he "phoned in" his narration, unless I were discussing the recorded sound itself. The distant, hollow, compressed audio quality literally sounds like something that was recorded over the phone onto an answering machine. It's awful compared to most other audiobooks I've heard, and frankly not acceptable. It really tainted my enjoyment of an otherwise impressive audiobook, and for that reason alone, I can only give this title 3 stars.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful